The wit and wisdom of Brian Clough
He was the most controversial, the most opinionated - and the most entertaining football manager of all time. Now Brian Clough's colourful career is being immortalised in a big screen adaptation of David Peace's book The Damned United, released on March 27.
It deals with Clough's 44-day reign as manager of Leeds United, and comes out just as ITV prepares to screen a major documentary about him, made with the help of his family.
This year also marks the fifth anniversary of his death and the 30th anniversary of perhaps his greatest achievement - the first of two consecutive European Cup triumphs with Nottingham Forest.
As a player, Clough was a promising and prolific striker with Sunderland who made two England appearances before his career was cut short by injury. But it was as a manager that he made his name, teaming up with Peter Taylor to form one of the greatest managerial partnerships in football history.
He was renowned for his acid tongue, and The First Post presents a collection of Old Big 'Ead's greatest quotes, compiled by Neil Clark:
ON DAVID BECKHAM:"Beckham? His wife can't sing and his barber can't cut hair."
ON HIS REPUTATION:
"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one."
ON GETTING THINGS DONE:
"They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but I wasn't on that particular job."
ON HIS DRINKING:
"Walk on water? I know most people out there will be saying that instead of walking on it, I should have taken more of it with my drinks. They are absolutely right."
"I can't even spell spaghetti never mind talk Italian. How could I tell an Italian to get the ball - he might grab mine."
ON TREVOR BROOKING:
"Trevor Brooking floats like a butterfly... And stings like one."
ON HOOLIGANS:"Football hooligans? Well, there are the 92 club chairmen for a start."
ON THE LONG BALL GAME:
"If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there."
"Academically, I was thick. I'm not sure school taught me that Columbus discovered America, I learned that in later life. Some people might wish he never had, because if they are the leading lights in this world, my God, they leave a lot to be desired."
"There are more hooligans in the House of Commons than at a football match."
"Players lose you games, not tactics. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes."
ON THE ENGLAND JOB:
"I'm sure the England selectors thought if they took me on and gave me the job, I'd want to run the show. They were shrewd, because that's exactly what I would have done."
ON ONE OF HIS PLAYERS:
"I'm not saying Brian Rice is pale and thin, but I'm telling you, the maid in the hotel re-made his bed without realising he was still in it."
ON MARRIED LIFE:
"My wife said to me in bed 'God, your feet are cold'. I said 'You can call me Brian in bed, dear'."
ON THE ENGLAND JOB, AGAIN:
"People wonder what kind of England manager Cloughie would have turned out to be. There’s only one answer - a bloody good one."
ON LEARNING THAT ELTON JOHN WAS WAITING TO MEET HIM:
"Tell the fat poof I'll be out in a minute."
"If it meant getting three points on a Saturday I would shoot my grandmother. Not nastily, I would just hurt her."
"I don't believe in an afterlife. I am an avid reader of newspapers but I've yet to see proof of anyone dying and coming back after the funeral."
"I have no problem in having money in the bank, a large house and a Mercedes, and still being a socialist."
"If a player had said to Bill Shankly 'I've got to speak to my agent', Bill would have hit him. And I would have held him while he hit him."
OH HIS LEGACY:
"I want no epitaphs of profound history and all that type of thing. I contributed. I would hope they would say that, and I would hope somebody liked me." ·
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